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Unfurling the Variety, Verity & Virtue of Indian Politicians

In his distinguished 38-year career, Anil Swarup emerged as a stalwart in the Indian Administrative Service, leaving an indelible mark on public service. Hailing from Allahabad, he earned his Master’s in Political Science with the prestigious Chancellor’s Gold Medal at Allahabad University in 1978. Before he entered into the IAS in 1981, he showcased his prowess in the Indian Police Service. Garnering the Director’s Gold Medal at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, he set the stage for an illustrious journey. As Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Coal, he deftly navigated the fallout of the coal scam.

A decorated author, Swarup’s books, including “Encounters with Politicians,” unveil four decades of astute insights into the intricate corridors of civil service. Recognized as a Policy Change Agent by The Economics Times and listed among India Today‘s 35 Action Heroes, Anil Swarup stands as the unwavering Founder Chairman of Nexus of Good, championing positive change with unyielding determination.

In a forthright colloquy with The Interview World, Anil Swarup unfurls the labyrinthine tapestries of his recent magnum opus, “Encounters with Politicians,” laying bare the rich tapestry of his engagements with diverse political figures within the nation. He elucidates upon the manifold experiences garnered in the company of these political luminaries, all the while accentuating the transformative impact wrought by his organization, Nexus of Good, upon the societal landscape. Presented herewith are the stellar excerpts emanating from this insightful interview.

Q: What inspired you to write ‘Encounters with Politicians,’ and could you provide an overview of the key themes and experiences explored in your book?

A: “Encounters with Politicians” encapsulates my four-decade-long journey as a civil servant, offering a nuanced exploration of the diverse array of politicians with whom I have engaged. Throughout my career, I have encountered a spectrum of personalities within the political realm, ranging from remarkably helpful and positive figures to those less inclined toward optimism. This compilation reflects the inherent diversity present in any societal landscape, comprising individuals with varying degrees of virtue.

In essence, the narrative is an amalgamation of experiences with politicians, each leaving an indelible mark on my professional trajectory. Some emerged as commendable allies, contributing constructively to the public sphere, while others exhibited less favorable attributes. The book endeavors to provide readers with a balanced perspective, mirroring the multifaceted nature of political life.

Within these pages, I recount my firsthand impressions of politicians, emphasizing that my insights are rooted solely in personal encounters. Unlike relying on hearsay or second-hand information, my reflections are grounded in direct interactions, ensuring an authentic and unfiltered portrayal of the individuals discussed. This approach not only fosters transparency but also adds depth to the narrative, offering readers an insider’s view into the complexities of political dynamics.

Q: What prominent individual do you consider to be the tallest figure in Indian politics, in terms of influence, impact, or leadership?

A: While I cannot speak for the entirety of Indian politics, I have had the opportunity to interact with several politicians, among whom Kalyan Singh stood out as an exemplary leader. His leadership prowess was evident in his unwavering faith in his team, a quality that truly set him apart. Remarkably, he possessed the skill of effective delegation, entrusting responsibilities to competent individuals within his circle.

This not only fostered a sense of trust but also enabled him to extract commendable performances from the officers under his purview. In my observations, it became evident that Kalyan Singh’s management style, rooted in trust and delegation, significantly contributed to the successful execution of various initiatives. Consequently, I consider him to be a leader of exceptional caliber within the realm of Indian politics.

Q: What observations can you share about the evolution of politics in the country based on your experiences working with numerous politicians?

A: There appears to have been no substantial shift in the overall landscape. The political sphere seems to have retained its status quo since its inception. As previously mentioned, a diverse array of politicians, encompassing both virtuous and less commendable individuals, continues to be a constant presence. The enduring constancy in the political realm prompts reflection on the stability and persistence of established patterns. It is worth considering the implications of this continuity, as it underscores the enduring nature of political dynamics.

Q: What impact and positive changes is your organization, Nexus of Good, actively fostering in society?

A: Nexus for Good, the organization I represent, is fundamentally dedicated to the global promotion of benevolence. In a world where a plethora of commendable efforts are underway, it becomes imperative to acknowledge the sheer volume of positive endeavors. Unfortunately, amidst our predilection for sensationalism and negativity, we often overlook these admirable initiatives. The central premise is to shift our focus towards fostering goodness. This involves not only recognizing and appreciating the commendable work being carried out but also striving to replicate and scale these positive actions. By actively seeking inspiration from the plethora of virtuous endeavors unfolding globally, we can collectively contribute to a more uplifting and constructive societal narrative.

Encounters with Politicians - Unfolding Engagements with Diverse Political Luminaries
Encounters with Politicians – Unfolding Engagements with Diverse Political Luminaries


  1. What Chanakya didn’t say:
    Some IAS babus(specially those who managed coal and RSBY)are still nursing a bruised ego, at being ‘Babooed’ by Narendra Modi. Clearly if you have a guilty (babu) conscience then one can’t help it.


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